SCORES of thrill-seekers were stranded 50ft for two-and-a-half hours in stormy conditions on an Alton Towers ride.
The popular ride Th13teen broke down on Friday while in mid-air.
Theme park staff actioned their pre-planned evacuation process to guide the ride users to safety.
However, stranded in blustery wind and pouring rain, they had to wait 90 minutes for the process to be completed.
They were kept warm and dry with hot drinks, extra clothing and waterproofs issued by the park.
An Alton Towers spokesman said: “A simple technical issue caused the ride to stop on its way out of the station on the lift hill, approximately 45-50 feet off the ground.
“The safety of our guests is our priority in situations such as this and we have a very well-practiced evacuation procedure in place.
“This entails harnessing each guest individually and attaching them to a safety rail so that they can walk down the evacuation platform, which is adjacent to the track, to ground level in complete safety.
“This process took around an hour and a half yesterday due to the weather conditions at the time and our rides team ensured that our guests were looked after throughout with hot drinks, warm clothing and waterproof ponchos.
“However we are of course very sorry for any inconvenience or distress that may have been caused.
“The ride reopened following a thorough investigation at 4pm.”
Th13teen, which opened on March 20, 2010, is the world’s first vertical freefall drop roller coaster.
Those who brave the ride see the track and carriage freefall for around five metres, plunging them into darkness.
The ride stands on the ground vacated by the Corkscrew, which was built in 1980 and enjoyed at 20-year stay at the theme park.
When its opening was announced it was marketed as a ‘psychoaster’ due to the ‘unknown horror’ riders experience at the bottom of the drop.
Doctors were initially made available and health insurance was offered to thrill-seekers in the ride’s early days.
It involves those on the ride being plunged into unexplored ‘living and breathing’ woodland titled the ‘dark forest’.
There they face a horror unleashed from an ancient crypt and ‘guaranteed’ to exploit mental vulnerabilities.
The park’s recent woes have largely surrounded their new ride, The Smiler, which has had significant teething problems in its first few months of operation.
It broke down several times during the summer and, in July, reports suggested pieces of metal were flying off the multi-million pound attraction.
It led to 48 people having to be ‘rescued’ from the ride, which was then closed while the technical team set to work to resolve the problem.
The rollercoaster, which has a record-breaking 14 loops, plunges riders 30 metres and reaches speeds of up to 53mph.
Its opening was delayed by two weeks after ‘technical difficulties’ found it could not be opened on time due to ‘health and safety issues’.
The Smiler broke the Guinness world record for the most number of loops, which was previously 10, when it was built.
It is the most expensive ride at Alton Towers, having cost £18 million to build.